12/30/2001 12:00AM

Racing recollected in rhyme


ARCADIA, Calif. - With sincere apologies to Roger Angell, Ed Bowen, and Errol Allen, my ninth grade English teacher who compared me to Edgar Allan Poe, but only as a potential laudanum addict and chronic debtor:

Another year has gone and here

We are past-posting, crystal clear,

The things we should have known from scratch,

The winners, losers, plots that hatched.

Betting coups, sweet scams and schemes,

All coming true, like childhood dreams.

Now comes the time to tip the hat

To those who made our wallets fat,

Or thin, depending how you played

Mandella, Kimmel, Patrick Day,

Scott Lake, Bill Mott, Edgar Prado,

Paco, Chop-Chop, Albarado.

To own a racehorse, what a rush!

Some won enough to make them blush.

Juddmonte, Pegram, and The Thoroughbred

(a Corp. that's run by Salman, Ahmed)

Racked up the dough by hundreds . . . grander!

The rest was snagged by Rich Englander.

Cheers to Baze, viva Dominguez!

They know where the finish line is.

Rose and Prather, tough to beat,

Still owe their homage to Laffit.

And if pinched, well, we could let

J. Bailey pay the national debt.

Madcap Bob and Brooklyn Bobby,

Baffert-Frankel, what a lobby!

Captain Steve, Flute, Squirt, and Skimming,

Dangerous seas when they go swimming.

And then to whet two thousand two,

Habibti and her shadow, You.

Hail Lido Palace, Fleet Renee -

They had the stuff, they came to play.

The Heat was cooking all year long,

Monarchos sang his Derby song.

And Albert, he was great and kind

While in a New York state of mind.

Bless the boondocks, far and wide,

Where even Hallowed Dreams can't hide.

Up north somewhere there reigns a mule.

(Black Ruby makes long ears look cool.)

And who would doubt, besides the dumb,

That Fonner's owned by Leaping Plum.

At chilly Belmont, friendly Yanks

Rolled out the rug for Brits and Francs.

Banks Hill, Jo-Berg, Fantastic Light,

Sakhee and gang - a lovely sight.

Much to the glee of Euro-fans,

They came, they saw, they kicked our cans.

We lost Affirmed, and Jimmy Jones.

The sadness still can chill the bones.

Cordero's Margie, Spook Express,

That noble lass Exogenous.

Dahlia, too, and Ben Rochelle.

At least it's said we knew them well.

Here's to the year, but glad it's done.

We lived that nightmare, nine-one-one.

Our own twin towers, much the best,

Stood tall with every passing test.

Time then to ask for one more bow -

That grand Point Given and Tiznow.